Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit

Monday, 14 March 2011

Thou shalt not..... some new commandments?

Recently a friend of mine posted on fb about how language works with children - namely that using negatives doesn't work, because the 'don't' or the 'not' isn't heard.  So for example when your child is hanging from a tree branch you shouldn't scream "Don't fall" because all said child hears is "Fall" - you should couch your advice in positive terms  - so it's "Hang on tight to the branch!".

With this in mind I have twice in the last week faltered as I have read the Ten Commandments as part of the Penitential Rite at the start of our Lenten liturgy. (I should note that the use of this particular material was at the request of lay members of our worship vision group!)  The first bit is OK, but then we get to the "Thou shalt not"s.  Each time I read I picture myself and half of humanity falling out of a tree.  So I began to wonder what some of those thou shalt nots might look like creatively and positively re-framed.  I imagine there are creative liturgists and pastoral practitioners up and down the land who've done this already - but here's my first two - and feel free to comment with some of your own ideas below.

Thou shalt not commit adultery - Live and love in trust and faithfulness

Thou shalt not murder - Honour and cherish human life

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